Isabella began swimming lessons this year. I hoped to begin her earlier but didn't know how I would manage tto keep two toddlers happy poolside. My Mum now graciously minds Juliette and Emily while Issie and I head off to swimming lessons after school. Juliette swims on a separate day while Emily paddles in the baby pool:) I have already made Issie a suit using my cosi pattern (which you can see on the pattern cover), but it is not made from lycra and although it is suitable for the water, the fabric is thick and takes ages to dry at the moment mid winter. I needed to make Issie one from lycra and I have been waiting to use this beautiful fabric since buying it two years ago.
I adjusted my pattern (View C) a little as I wanted to incorporate some of this pretty gold bias binding that I received from Rachel - who has now become a good friend and writes one of my favourite blogs - stitched together. Rachel sent me a very generous package as part of the mailbox surprise series (hosted by Marta and Marte) earlier in the year which included silver and gold bias binding. I found the lycra at The Fabric Store in Melbourne - it is an offcut of a Tigerlily swimsuit fabric (an Australian swimwear brand). I love it. I altered my pattern by simply omitting the elastic around the top of the suit and sewing it in two parts - the bias binding across the top horizontal line and then binding the suit top with the swimsuit fabric and extending this to create straps. I stretched the swimsuit fabric binding slightly as I sewed. it. Since the bias binding is under no strain it does not need to stretch. I also added it to the outer hem of the leg frills. Bling!
I used my sewing machine entirely for this suit and it took me about an hour and half from start to finish (including a broken double stretch needle - ouch, that costs!). The leg elastic was sewn down with zig zag instead of the double top stitch. I sewed up a size five for Issie and it has a little room in it which I expected since her and Juliette have the same chest size. This way it will hopefully fit all through summer (until I need to make another one!!)
Watch me go Mum! Isabella looked very fancy turning up to her swimming lesson this evening!
If you are wondering whether you can tackle making a swimsuit, they really are not as hard as they look!! If you have sewn with stretch before, I am sure you can do it!! You can buy my pattern here. And I can't wait to see many more cosis coming up very soon as part of my July tour:)) Details of all my lovely partipants coming soon!